Digital Daily Dozen 10/3/16

Facebook’s ‘People You May Know’ feature can be really creepy. How does it work?

Facebook has a pretty clear and straightforward company mission: Connect everybody in the world. One of the ways it carries out that mission is by recommending new friends for you every time you open the app or website — essentially, the company identifies other people on Facebook that it thinks you already know.



Report: EU warns Google of fine over antitrust issues 

The European Union reportedly warned tech giant Alphabet of a large fine tied to what they claim are anticompetitive practices involving its Android mobile operating software. According to Reuters, the EU wants Alphabet’s Google to stop paying smartphone makers to pre-install Google Search on their devices.



Yahoo breach shows fast-food mentality of digital data is a problem  (Commentary)

It’s a classic trade-off in our modern world: convenience vs. security. As a product or service designer, do I make something easy to use, or do I ensure data privacy and security, even at the cost of a few extra steps or a few more seconds?



NBC News is betting heavily – and early – on social VR 

Much as publishers are citing virtual reality (and its gateway drug 360 video) as being a huge opportunity in the next few years, there’s undoubtedly a way to go before true VR is widely available. For one thing, the initial price for the higher-end VR rigs on which many are relying as proofs-of-concept for the new medium are prohibitive.



Location Tracking and the Trouble With ‘Opting In’ 

Anyone who’s opened a new app lately has seen a location- tracking pop-up that reads something like, “Allow app to access this device’s location?” Most people tap “Allow” on the assumption that it’s necessary for the app to do its thing—to hail a ride, find nearby restaurants or forecast the weather. And then they forget about it.




Forty seven years after the first message was sent over the forerunner to today’s pervasive global network, the US has given up its remaining control over the internet. The formal handover, which took effect on Oct 1, followed a last-ditch attempt by a group of Republicans to block the move.




There’s been a lot of consternation in recent months about Facebook’s impact on politics. If it’s not fears of partisan censorship and suppressed trending topics, it’s worries about echo chambers or hyper-targeted campaign ads. But in the upcoming presidential election, at least, Facebook’s influence will lie somewhere else.



“The Web belongs to all of us”: Q&A with the Web’s inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee 

Well, I did call it the World Wide Web, but never expected it to be so successful! I realized that the Web technology had to be universal to work for any type of computer, but also any language, genre, or culture. That is why I pressed for it to be made available to everyone, forever, without patents or royalties.



TV spectrum auction enters next stage with new bidding, lower prices 

The first stage of the FCC reverse auction of television spectrum concluded as many analysts had predicted: Sellers’ opening bid prices were more than $60 billion higher than what the forward auction buyers were willing to pay. It’s unlikely that the second stage of the auction will succeed at matching sellers’ prices to buyers’ offers.



The U.K.’s Largest Sperm Bank Is Now an App

These days you can pretty much order anything on demand through an app: dinner, a car service, and now sperm. You read that right. The London Sperm Bank—the largest in the U.K.—has just released an app that could modernize the process of hooking prospective parents up with the biological material they need.



Can you hack the vote? Yes, but not how you might think 

Symantec has set up a simulated voting station that shows how electronic systems might be hacked to alter actual vote tallies for just a few hundred dollars. They found that while it’s possible to change the number of votes cast for each candidate, it would be very difficult to do so on a large enough scale to swing the election.



Consumers With Connected Devices Don’t Use Them To The Fullest 

While many devices within the Internet of Things come with a lot of capabilities built in, many consumers aren’t yet using them all. Others aren’t even aware of what other capabilities their smart devices have. For various reasons, half of consumers are not tapping into features or capabilities of connected devices they own.



Republicans Slam FCC for Foregoing Public Comment on New Set-Top Box Plan

Republicans are blasting FCC Chair Tom Wheeler for refusing to seek public comment on the latest version of his plan to unlock the set-top box, despite going through several major revisions, a vote delay and a continuing lack of support among even fellow Democratic commissioners.





The Digital Daily Dozen is distributed weekdays (usually) by Dom Caristi as a service of the BSU Digital Policy Institute. The articles are culled from various e-newsletters. The content is not original – only their compilation in this mailing is.